Authorities recognize mother, daughter for heroic actions
By Jason Arndt
A Michigan mother and her young daughter in Twin Lakes for the Country Thunder Musical Festival didn’t just bring back memories of the annual event.
The Burlingames – Jennifer and Maria, 11 – also helped save lives while on board a pontoon boat on Lake Mary and were recognized from the Twin Lakes Police Department July 17 at the police station.
Adam Grosz, Twin Lakes Police Chief, as well as the family of Tina Krause, 51, one of the victims, thanked the Burlingames for their heroic actions on July 15.
“We are here today to recognize some true heroes who did a very brave and heroic thing in our community Thursday afternoon,” Grosz said. “If it wasn’t for the actions of Jennifer and Maria, this probably would have been a much different outcome. It would have been a tragedy in our community.”
The Twin Lakes Police Department as well as Twin Lakes Fire and Rescue, in addition to issuing commemorative plaques, presented the Burlingames with challenge coins and patches from both departments for their “selfless and courageous act on July 15, 2021.”
Both departments commended them for rendering aid in a sudden and unexpected situation, which resulted in a preservation of life, according to the plaques issued.
Jennifer, a family physician from Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, her daughter, Maria, along with sons Colin, 9, John, 4, and the family nanny Terry LaPointe spent part of the day simply exploring Lake Mary.
“Out on the horizon, they happened to see a couple of people in the water, they had been on the kayaks and they were obviously in distress,” Grosz said. “As quickly as they could, they made their way over to were these two individuals were in the lake.”
LaPointe, a kayaker herself, believed both victims, Debra Taylor, 40, of Kenosha, and Krause fell overboard after their kayaks capsized.
Grosz said the Burlingames discovered Krause was unresponsive.
According to Jennifer, who drove the pontoon boat, Maria immediately responded and jumped into Lake Mary to help rescue Taylor and Krause.
“When we headed back that way, we noticed that she was floating in the water, completely unresponsive, submerged,” Jennifer said. “(Krause) was closing to going under, so we got there in time. Maria was the first to jump in and I was navigating the boat over to her and lifted her head out of the water.”
Maria, who didn’t hesitate, said she acknowledged some anxiety as she came to rescue Krause.
“It was a little bit scary because I was that her lips were blue and there was foam coming out of her mouth and I didn’t know what was going to happen,” said Maria, who kept Krause’s head above water.
Jennifer, meanwhile, also leaped into Lake Mary to help her daughter bring Krause onto the pontoon boat.
Jennifer then began CPR immediately.
“I started CPR right away, (Krause) was unresponsive,” said Jennifer, who plans to encourage her children to become CPR certified. “Luckily, it is something that everybody can learn.”
The Burlingames, meanwhile, brought both victims to shore at Lance Park, where Twin Lakes authorities continued lifesaving efforts.
“I can tell you that when they arrived, it did not look like a good situation,” Grosz said.
First responders transported Krause to Aurora Medical Center in Burlington, where medical officials treated her before she was released, according to Grosz.
“She did want to be here (July 17), but unfortunately, she is not feeling very well. She is still recovering, but is expected to make a full recovery,” Grosz said. “(Krause) wanted to express thanks to you two. We really wanted to do this today and recognize that we have two true heroes here.”
First responders released Taylor after evaluation at the scene.
Maria said her efforts, while nerve-wracking, were worth it because she helped save a life.
“It was kind of nerve-wracking, but I am so happy that (Krause) is better now,” Maria said.
Jennifer said her sons and nanny stayed calm as she and Maria worked to help rescue Krause.
The police department decided to recognize both of them on Saturday, instead of during the week, because the Country Thunder Music Festival concluded the next day.
Jennifer reports she and her family members, who have regional ties, have visited Twin Lakes for the music festival multiple times.
“We have been in Twin Lakes – this is our fifth year now – but we have family in Fort Atkinson and Spring Grove,” said Jennifer, whose husband, Bret, is a Fort Atkinson native and spent the afternoon running instead of spending time on the pontoon boat.
“This is a familiar place to us. We come to this area quite a bit, mostly Twin Lakes, though, for Country Thunder and boating on Lake Mary.”